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NHS Sustainability Day - Thursday 23 March 2017

Tuesday 21 March 2017

This year’s NHS Sustainability Day also marks the launch of the revised Ethical Procurement for Health (EPH) Workbook. Developed in partnership with the Sustainable Development Unit, the British Medical Association, the Ethical Trading Initiative and the Department of Health, the workbook reinforces the importance of ethical procurement in the health sector.

The EPH Workbook provides practical guidance for organisations in the health and social care sector to embed labour standards into its supply chain, throughout each part of the procurement process, and helps to address supply chain due diligence, as is expected by the Modern Slavery Act. 

NHS Supply Chain was part of the original steering group for the EPH, when it was first published in 2011, and has been pleased to have been part of the steering group working on the revised workbook, sharing its experiences of implementing ethical procurement into its procurement process.

The EPH’s model of continuous improvement provides an opportunity to track progression, and has been a useful model for NHS Supply Chain to adopt. The principles of EPH have been embedded throughout NHS Supply Chain, which is committed to demonstrating good practice in this area and sharing its learning across the health and wider public sector.

NHS Supply Chain has used tools from the EPH, particularly ‘the labour standards risk assessment’ as a way of assessing its own contract portfolio. Working with the Department of Health in 2012, they developed a more practical approach to Ethical Procurement specifically around the area of Labour Standards Assurance. This approach incorporates contract conditions in product areas/tenders where there are known and documented labour standards risks or high predictors, and is referenced as a best practice case study in the EPH.

Over the past five years, since the Labour Standards Assurance System was introduced, awareness of ethical procurement and the benefits it brings has increased. NHS Supply Chain continues to engage with its suppliers and customers, raising awareness and building capability in this area.

To read more about the NHS Supply Chain’s work on ethical procurement and the Modern Slavery Act, please click here.

Further information on Ethical Procurement for Health can be found on the links below:

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